grapegarden: The opening cutscene to the fourth level of Kirby's Adventure, Grape Garden. Poor Kirby just lost all his balloons! :o (Lantern)
[personal profile] grapegarden
I've been feeling like absolute shit and trudging through trying to move to Portland, so I haven't been writing lately. Which probably contributes to my feeling like shit, but anyway! First Madokafic, and first fic I've written for the Femslash Exchange! I hope I did okay, considering LOL PURI WRITING FOR A NEW ANIME FANDOM. The kudos on Ao3 is a bit of a comfort.

We've all heard of Mami's infamous death at the teeth of Charlotte, the Dessert Witch. What about the other way around? Since it probably would be canonically impossible in the show, that's what AU fanfic is for. I wanted to include more scenarios, but I didn't have enough time before the deadline to include them, so I hope this isn't too confusing. This is written for emergencycocktail for the Femslash Exchange challenge of 2014. :)

Title: Sweet Temptation
Author: Puri
Fandom: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Genre: Horror/Romance
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Canon-typical violence, major character death (and a kid at that), survivor guilt
Ships/Characters: Mami/Nagisa
Finished: Yes

Nagisa Momoe blew her trumpet, and a stream of bubbles popped open a crack in thin air. The bubbles always reminded her of a game at the arcade that she used to play: a sorcerer cursed two boys into bubble-breathing dragons, and they would catch enemies with their new power to pop them and turn them into all sorts of fruits, candies and sweets. In a way, she had become those dragons that she loved so much, except her enemies were much more frightening. Instead of robots, she fought Witches. Instead of delicious food, they dropped Grief Seeds; which, in a way, looked like candy anyway. The Witch's barrier burst with a bleeding gash, and Nagisa jumped inside.

Her feet touched a clearing inside an orchard of apple trees, and the road beneath her laid a rainbow pavement made out of crushed pieces of lollipop. The sky shined tin with splotches of black coffee clouds. Teacups laid scattered on the ground, spattering from slow showers of chocolate syrup. The air was humid, heavy as honey, and chilly. At the end of the rainbow path sat a small cookie cottage, which reminded Nagisa that she hadn't had anything to eat in a long time.

The witch is inside that cottage, Kyubey spoke telepathically. Are you ready for this?
Nagisa hesitated. I wish Mama was here. Then we could fight witches together!
Your mother isn't here now. Remember?


Of course she did. She remembered lying in the hospital bed with Mama, ravaged with cancer and dying. It didn't seem like they'd get better at all, and it didn't help they weren't even allowed to eat the sweets they loved so much. So when Kyubey came to her offering a wish, she begged to be able to eat cheesecake—she and Mama's favorite food—for the last time together. Soon after that, Mama was gone, but Nagisa was completely cured by her new magical powers. I should've wished to save Mama...

Kyubey? If I fight more witches, will I get stronger?
That's expected among magical girls, yes.
Will I get more powerful magic? Will I be able to bring Mama back?


There was a pause, and for a moment, Nagisa was afraid that they had lost contact.

Hmm... I can't say that I've ever seen anyone get that far before. But magical girls are capable of all sorts of unexpected miracles. It wouldn't hurt to try.
Nagisa considered this and smiled. Thanks Kyubey! I'll do my best!

With renewed vigor, she opened the door of the cottage.

~

Nagisa felt like part of a dream. The carpet rolled as soft and scarlet as strawberry jelly, and marble arches streamed with golden chains bordered the checkered walls. Boxes of presents wrapped in gingham bunched everywhere like building blocks. Two strange girls in waitress outfits—one pink with pigtails, the other red with a high ponytail—escorted Nagisa to the center table. A long table with a tyrian purple tablecloth awaited her, dotted with dainty teacups and all sorts of cakes and sweets. Finally, a tiny figure greeted her. She wore a large yellow bonnet and had ribbons for arms, dressed in a bright green gown and what looked like striped stockings. She reminded Nagisa of a little ballerina doll she used to play with; one that she had accidentally broken when she squeezed too hard and popped its head off, never to be seen again. As if sensing her guilt, the witch pushed a small slice of cake towards Nagisa.

She couldn't help it; she gobbled the whole thing down in seconds. The witch made no objections, laying a dainty little napkin across her lap to catch all runaway crumbs. She next offered a plate of cookies and a cup of tea to drink them down. Nagisa dipped the cookies in the tea and ate them—a trick her Mama taught her—and licked her lips. Finally, there was cheesecake, which she wolfed down in desperation. Any bite of cheesecake that made it to her mouth outside the barrier had fizzled into sand on her tongue; an everlasting reminder of her foolish wish. Mama, I'm so sorry...

"Is it all right if I save some of this for my Mama? She hasn't had cheesecake for a long time." For now, she could put this on her mother's grave, so she could eat it from wherever she is. Then once she is strong enough to bring her back, they could celebrate by eating cheesecake together. "I'd love to come back and eat here again. You're really nice, for a witch. Mama would like you a lot! Maybe we could all be friends!" Nagisa left the table, looking for an empty box to put the leftovers in...

A garbled shriek shook the cottage, and the magical girl raised her trumpet in reflex. But before she had the chance to blow it, she was trapped in a cocoon of golden ribbon, surrounded on both sides by the waitresses. The witch tightened her grip, and Nagisa cried out as the trumpet crashed to the floor.

"Please, no!" She didn't know what hit her first: the arrow or the spear lancing her sides from the waitresses. Tears flooded her face as she struggled in the tight ribbons. It was too late, and now she would never make it up to her mother. The witch glared at her before she was consumed in a pillar of flames.

I'm sorry, Mama. I'm so sorry...

~

Nagisa screamed, punching and writhing and kicking. When she opened her eyes, she slowed her assault, slowly recognizing her surroundings. Mami Tomoe was shaking her gently, her pigtails undone and her golden eyes seized with worry. Nagisa lay still in her bed, her face swollen with tears. She wiped her eyes before clinging to Mami, and buried her head in her friend's chest.

"I'm sorry!" Nagisa sobbed. "I'm so sorry...!"
"It's all right," Mami consoled, holding her back. "It's only a nightmare. It's okay, it's over now..."

For a moment, they stayed together like this; Nagisa snuggling close until her tears ran out, taking comfort in Mami rubbing her back with one hand and running her fingers through her white snowy hair with the other. Mami offered to make tea, but she didn't want her to leave. Not just yet. Ever since she had rescued her in the hospital with Kyouko, Sayaka and Homura, Nagisa loved Mami in every way she imagined possible. She was her best friend, certainly. But she was also her teacher, her sister, her... biggest crush. She loved Mami more than she loved all the cheesecake in the world. She didn't feel so terrible after surviving without her Mama...

"Mami? Did you ever feel bad about your wish? Did you ever think you're a bad person for not wishing for something else?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I wanted to eat cheesecake again with Mama. But now, I know I should've wished for her not to be sick anymore. 'Cause now she's dead, and she'll never come back..."

Mami looked thoughtful. A warm bittersweet smile formed on her lips.

"I think it's wonderful that you wanted to share something special with your mother," she said. "You're very young for a magical girl... almost too young to be making a contract in the first place. Yet you still thought of your mother when you made your wish. It might not have been what you wanted, but it's still noble."
"Really?"
"Yes. When I think about it, I should have been more like you when I made my wish. I had the chance to save my parents too. But at the moment, all I could think of was saving myself... selfish of me, right?"
"You're not selfish!" Nagisa protested. "You're one of the nicest people I've ever met! And you're so cool and brave and strong!"
"I'm afraid that isn't true," Mami shook her head. "I—"
"Even if you're not, I don't care! You're my best friend, and I'm going to protect you! You can cry if you want, Mami... I won't be mad. Being magical girls is tough, but we can do it together!"

To prove her point, Nagisa pecked Mami on the lips. She didn't care if Mami didn't see herself as wonderful as Nagisa saw her. Nothing Mami would do would ever scare her away. Together, they were magical girls; they shared each other's pain, and they would come out even stronger and happier because of it.

A blush bloomed on Mami's cheeks. "N-Nagisa—!"
"I love you, Mami! No matter what happens, I'll stay by your side!"
"But... you're so young! You have plenty of time to have fun before you worry about love." All the same, Mami couldn't help beaming.

Nagisa beamed back. "Let's make some tea!"
"Of course," Mami nodded, getting up from bed. "I'll get the stove and leaves ready."
“Yay!” Nagisa cheered, and she dashed ahead of her into the kitchen.
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grapegarden: The opening cutscene to the fourth level of Kirby's Adventure, Grape Garden. Poor Kirby just lost all his balloons! :o (Default)
Puri

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